September 28, 2021 - Romans 5:12-21
As I was growing up, I was constantly compared to my brothers. Having five brothers made the comparisons come often as I had to live up to my older brothers and be an example to the younger ones. Whether it was sports, hunting or cars, we were either associated with or contrasted to one another.
A contrast is drawn between two rulers of mankind, Adam and Christ. The word "one' is used eleven times in this passage and assists us to determine who is the ruler of man. Each ruler (Adam or Christ) commands a kingdom.
Adam's reign is stated as one that is over death and condemnation (vv.12, 16,17-19). Because of Adam's sin, all mankind is condemned to death as all have sinned. This judgment is imposed upon Adam and the human race due to disobedience and rebellion. Paul's statements that by one man (Adam) all mankind was judged to be guilty and under judgment from God. This judgment and death spread to all men and resulted in separation and death.
Christ, in contrast, is stated to have a kingdom that He rules. As a result of Christ's obedience, the grace of God "abounds to many" (v.15). Whereas Adam's sin brought death to all, Christ's obedience results in justification, righteousness, and grace to all who believe (vv. 16, 19-20). The free gift is offered to all mankind but is only given to those who choose to move from the kingdom of death and condemnation to the kingdom now offered by Christ leading to eternal life.
The contrast is stark, life or death, light or darkness, condemnation or justification. These two kingdoms are presented by Paul so that man can see the drastic contrast that exists because Adam's one act of disobedience and Christ's act of obedience. Adam chose to disobey, and all mankind paid for that trespass. Christ chose to be obedient and to die on the cross. By that one act, all mankind has the opportunity to become righteous before God!
You had no choice to be born "in" Adam but you do have an option to move from the old life to a new life "in" Christ by having a second birth and being born into Christ's family and kingdom. That is why Jesus said, "You must be born again" (John3:7). Accept the offer of the new life and live it abundantly. Jesus encourages us with these words, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10b).
With an Expectant Hope,